Houston, we have a scoring problem
Through 12 games, the Houston Astros (6-6, 2-9-1 O/U) have scored 34 runs (fewest in the American League) and have given up 40 (tied for second fewest in the AL). They have not gone over the total since last Monday (0-4-1 O/U in their last five games). The under is also 3-1 in the last four games involving the Seattle Mariners, whom Houston faces three times starting on Monday.
Hot off the Grilli
Two weeks into the season, your MLB saves leader is 38-year-old Jason Grilli of the Atlanta Braves. You can’t make this stuff up, folks. In six appearances, the fiery veteran has six saves and a 1.50 ERA. He has at least one strikeout in all six outings (10 in total) compared to a mere two hits and two walks allowed. The surprising Braves are 8-4 (8-4 O/U).
Chicago Cubs’ prospect Kris Bryant got his first taste of the big leagues last Friday after being called up from Triple-A. There were some first-game jitters (0-for-3 with three strikeouts), but those appear to be out of the way. Bryant is now on a two-game hitting steak and he reached base five times (three walks) in last Saturday’s 7-6 win over the San Diego Padres. Chicago is 1-2 (3-0 O/U) so far with Bryant in the lineup.
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* The Washington Nationals’ Doug Fister may have flown under the radar just a bit heading into this season after the acquisition of Max Scherzer to an already-loaded rotation. But Fister is making plenty of noise through two starts; he is 1-0 with 0.69 ERA in 13 innings. His next start will come on Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals at home, where the veteran righty compiled a 1.72 ERA last season compared to a 3.05 mark on the road.
* Jared Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels went 18-9 last season with a 3.59 ERA while limiting opponents to a .239 average. But the Oakland Athletics batted .280 against him and beat him twice in four games as Weaver compiled a 4.32 ERA in those four outings. He will face Oakland again on Tuesday and cannot be going in with much confidence. Through three starts in 2015, the veteran righty is 0-2 with a 6.61 ERA.
* Baltimore Orioles’ center fielder Adam Jones went 4-for-5 with one home run and five RBIs in an 8-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday. Jones now has seven hits in his last two games. He is on a nine-game hitting streak and is 20-for-35 in those nine while raising his average from a paltry .091 to an awesome .457.
* The Milwaukee Brewers have scored a miniscule 30 runs (2.5 per game), leaving them dead last in the major leagues in that category. They are 2-10 (also last in the majors) and have lost five in a row. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez (.140 BA, 0 HR, 2 RBI) is 2-for-23 in his last six games.
New York Yankees (10-2 O/U): The Yankees have gone over the total in four straight games and in 10 of their last 11. In part thanks to a rejuvenated Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees have scored at least five runs in four consecutive contests and in six of their last seven. Next up on the schedule is a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers (7-5 O/U), for whom the over is 2-0 in the last two games and 6-3 in the last nine.
* Things could get wet in Pittsburgh with forecasts calling for a 65 percent chance of rain as the Pirates host the Chicago Cubs from PNC Park Monday.
* The Boston Red Sox are just 4-10 in their last 14 games with umpire Andy Fletcher calling balls and strikes. Fletcher will be behind the plate for Monday’s game against the Orioles.
* All they do is win. But it is not because they are healthy. The New York Mets’ week began with third baseman David Wright going on the disabled list because of a strained right hamstring. It ended on Sunday with a win over the Miami Marlins, during which catcher Travis d’Arnaud fractured his hand on a hit-by-pitch and reliever Jerry Blevins was hit with a liner and suffered a broken forearm. There is no timetable for either player’s return. The Mets have won eight in a row (5-2-1 O/U).
* Los Angeles Dodgers’ right fielder Yasiel Puig is dealing with “regular soreness” according to manager Don Mattingly and the disable list appears to be a possibility. Puig was held out of Sunday’s 7-0 win over the Colorado Rockies and L.A. has Monday off, so Mattingly is hopeful that this rest will allow his star to be ready for Tuesday night at the San Francisco Giants—but that is far from certain. The Dodgers are 9-3 (8-4 O/U), including 5-2 (6-1 O/U) with Puig in the lineup.